What does Geography look like at Highweek?
The intent of the Geography curriculum at Highweek Primary School is to inspire children’s curiosity and interest to explore the world that we live in and its people, which aims to ignite a love of learning. We understand how geographically rich our local environment is and ensure a multitude of opportunities to explore and learn from it. We intend to equip children with geographical skills to develop their knowledge through studying places, people and natural and human environments. This seeks to deepen the understanding of the Earth’s human and physical forms and processes. Children are encouraged to develop a greater understanding and knowledge of the world, as well as their place within it. The Geography curriculum at Highweek enables children to develop knowledge and skills that are transferable to other curriculum areas and which are used to promote their spiritual, moral, social and cultural development. Our geography concepts are: locational knowledge; place knowledge; human and physical geography and geographical skills and fieldwork. Through our teaching, we intend to provoke thought, questions and to encourage children to discover answers to their own questions through exploration and research. This enables them to gain a greater understanding and knowledge of the world and their place within it.
Across all phases, geography is taught in a topic-led approach, to ensure that all learning is purposeful and meaningful. We have chosen exciting and engaging topics and ensure knowledge fits directly with the National Curriculum. We have identified the key knowledge and skills of each topic and theses are mapped across the school, ensuring that knowledge builds progressively and that children develop skills systematically. This ensures progression and coverage.
At Highweek, we put a huge emphasis on specific vocabulary teaching and we ensure that all geographical language is explored and clarified. We use the ASK model to support and enrich the teaching of geography. Here, the attitudes, knowledge and skills are taught explicitly at the start of each unit and lesson. The children can clearly see which skill they are focussing on in each lesson and what the new knowledge is. This engages the child in each lesson and allows them to understand their journey towards their end point.
Knowledge and skills are revisited regularly to ensure that facts are retained in the long-term memory and to achieve depth in their learning. Existing knowledge is checked at the beginning of each topic, as part of the ASK model. Tasks are selected and designed to provide appropriate challenge to all learners, in line with the school’s commitment to inclusion. At the end of each topic, key knowledge is reviewed by the children and teachers through an end point outcome, such as a double page knowledge spread or an information page, using ICT wherever possible. Dialogue forms a vital role in the teaching of geography and children explore different mediums of recording their thoughts. We incorporate the 5C’s (collaboration, challenge, connection-making, curiosity & creativity) into the delivery of the geography curriculum.
We build in opportunities to access the local area across the school. At Highweek, we are fortunate to have beaches, woods, towns and Dartmoor all within close proximity. Teachers are encouraged to consider opportunities available to use the school grounds and the local area for fieldwork to enable children to base learning on first hand experiences to enhance teaching and learning in geography.
In order to foster children’s curiosity about the world, interest and creativity, we are enthusiastic about geography and encourage children to explore and ask questions. At Highweek Primary School, geography is taught through a skills based curriculum and three areas of geography are taught across the year, one every term. Geography will be linked into other areas of the curriculum where appropriate, to develop children’s knowledge and understanding. It will also ensure all areas of the curriculum are covered in depth.
Children will have developed the geographical knowledge and skills to help them explore, navigate and understand the world around them and their place in it. Children’s knowledge and skills will develop progressively as they move through the school, not only to enable them to meet the requirements of the National Curriculum but to prepare them to become competent geographers in further education, and beyond.